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Old 06-02-2013, 10:28 PM   #11
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I could be wrong but going down the road you are running off of 12 volts and propane and when plugged in you run off of 110.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Parcany View Post
I could be wrong but going down the road you are running off of 12 volts and propane and when plugged in you run off of 110.
When you are plugged in to shore power you have 110 volt to outlets and appliances, the converter converts 110 AC to 12 volt DC to charge the batteries and run the lights and fans and such.

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Old 06-03-2013, 04:55 AM   #13
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I also added a fan to the fridge. The funny thing is it is simply a computer fan. Mine is hooked up to 12 volt as well, however when that same fan is in a computer, it is running off 110!
Muffin fans like the one in your computer are available in an array of voltages from 5vdc to 240VAC and possibly beyond, although the highest voltage muffin fan that I have personally used has been a 240VAC one. Don't assume as others have stated that just because the fan is in a computer that it is running off XX volts. Check the label on the fan motor and it will tell you the voltage required. As others have stated, check the voltage at the point you want to tap off of before doing your work. Generally the lighting, range hood fan and light, bathroom exhaust fan, bunk end fan/light combos, fridge light, water pump in an RV are all 12v dc and the duplex receps are for 110v AC.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:24 AM   #14
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Muffin or pancake fans do come in different voltages, but the standard home computer fan will be 12 volts DC so most any fans salvaged from a home desktop computer will 99.9% be 12 vdc.

Your desktop computer has a power supply to convert your 120 volt AC (Alternating Current) home power to DC (Direct Current) that the computer can use. That power supply typically provides a 12 volt DC source for things like drives and cooling fans. There is also a highly stable (regulated) 5 volt DC supply which is used for the computer electronics.

As was said earlier, the 120 volt AC and 12 volt DC systems are basically completely separate (and need to remain so) except that your travel trailer has a power supply to convert 120 volt shore power to 12 volts for general use, and also to charge the trailer battery. When plugged into the shore power pedestal you can use your interior trailer lights with wild abandon. When not plugged into shore power it is wise to not use any more interior lights than actually needed to conserve your battery power. It is best for battery life to never drain your trailer battery to less than 50% capacity. One clue that you are draining the battery too low is that the propane monitor alarm will start chirping at you. Most propane detectors have a low system voltage monitor.

Any propane burner controls and fans associated with your refrigerator, comfort heating system, and hot water are typically on the 12 volts so that they are available for you when you are on battery power only. That means that it would be possible to have 120 volts plugged in and not be able to run your furnace if the 12 volt DC system is not functioning properly.

Typically the computer 12 volt DC fans don't pull much current so although the wire sizing and voltage drop is important on 12 volt DC systems, the little fan will likely not be a problem. One quick check is to watch to see if the light which you connected to dims and stays dim when the fan is turned on. If the lamp stays bright while the fan is running your are likely not overloading that particular light circuit. That said, it is best to get a professional involved if you are not familiar with the systems.

FWIW. vic
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:24 AM   #15
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Good write up Vic, I was going to suggest speaking to your service department and ask them if the combo fan /light would be suitable for that area and you mentioned that yourself. You can learn a lot from the latest version of Trailer Life's book on trailer maintenance . In the front of the book he teaches you how to use a multi meter and the proper steps in electrical safety. There are other books at Camping World that specialize in RV electrical systems. It is possible to learn to do this but as mentioned earlier if you want it done now get the service guys to install it.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:28 AM   #16
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This is a typical Block Diagram of your 30AMP Electrical Wiring for a RV Trailer...



The RV Trailer idea is to have all of your basic needs items (Lights - Fans - 12VDC Controls etc) running from 12VDC and the Appliances type nice to have items (Air Conditioner-Converter/charger-Fridge-Special lights- etc) running from 120VAC.

All of the 120VAC and 12VDC wiring is originated from a Power Distribution Panel where the 120VAC Circuit Breakers and 12VDC Fuses are located. This Distribution Panel is fed by the 120VAC from the Shore Power Connection and 12VDC from the Battery Bank.

When Connected to Shore Power a 120VAC CONVERTER/CHARGER unit is used to produce 12VDC to power up the 12VDC side of the Power Distribution Panel so that all of the 12VDC items will operate when plugged into 120VAC Shore Power. This converter/charger unit is also used as a battery charger to keep your connected batteries charged up when you are operating on shore power.

When camping without Shore Power then the on-board battery setup supplies only 12VDC to the Power Distribution Panel and will only operate the basic needs items 12VDC lights and some selected 12VDC items that are basic things you need to live in your trailer when camping off the power grid. Of course alot of other things run off of Propane that will work when you are on Shore Power or just the Battery.

Some folks will add an optional INVERTER (Not a converter) which will operate from the trailer battery setup and provide 120VAC to operate some of the selected 120VAC Appliances that only operate when you plugged into Shore Power.

There actually some thought going into the trailer to make it work at both Shore Power locations and basic needs when camping off the power grid.

It always amazing to see folks use "I guess this works like this" - There are many manuals out there for study on how your RV Trailer works. Be a good idea to read up on them...

It does take good planning on your part and the only way out of many experiences is having some good PLAN Bs in place. Might help you out when it gets dark on you at 10PM at night when camping off the power grid.

just for info
Roy Ken
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:44 AM   #17
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I will add from experience those handy dual DC light/fan combo units are usually made very cheap and the ones that came with OFF-ROAD POPUP did not last very long. I would wire in some nice 12VDC LED "PUCK" type swivel lights like installed for air plane seating. Many type lights like this available out there... Must be 12VDC so they will work from your battery when you are camping off the power grid.
http://www.google.com/search?safe=ac...mg.itJ5WfzX3do

The best fan I have run across is the O2COOL 10-inch AC/DC portable fan (Lowes-Walmart-Amazon). This fan moves good air and works great from both Shore Power or Battery or internal D-CELLS... A great PLAN B item to have two or three of these around the trailer.


just my thoughts
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